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Gov Pence Signing First Bill Today

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence is signing the very first piece of legislation to get his signature this session... today. Senate Bill 319, the first measure to win the approval of the House and Senate, is meant to prevent an estimated 57-million dollar property tax increase on Hoosier farmers by keeping current soil productivity factors in place for another year.
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Read more: Gov Pence Signing First Bill Today

 

McCowan Found Guilty, Sentencing Set for March 28

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A jury deliberated for six-and-a-half hours before returning a guilty verdict in the Dustin McCowan murder trial. McCowan was charged with fatally shooting former girlfriend 19-year-old Amanda Bach of Portage in September 2011. The verdict was read at about 11-o'clock Tuesday night. Police say her body was found the day after her car was discovered along State Road 130 in Wheeler. Sentencing for the 20-year-old McCowan is scheduled for March 28th.
Times Staff Reporter Bob Kasarda has been...

Read more: McCowan Found Guilty, Sentencing Set for March 28

 

Promoting Student Safety in Schools Bill Passes Senate

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Legislation to protect children and staff members in schools passed the Indiana Senate Wednesday. Senate Bill 345 would establish a “Commission on Seclusion and Restraint in Schools”, to develop a model plan for Hoosier schools on the proper methods, standards, and training for student seclusion and restraint, with each school corporation having to develop its own plan, which would have to be approved by the commission. Bill author, Senator Randy Head, of Logansport, says, “there have reports of...

Read more: Promoting Student Safety in Schools Bill Passes Senate

 

Senate Approves Legislation Addressing Fed Overreach

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David Long
The Indiana Senate today approved a legislative package to exert states' constitutional rights and place a check on federal government overreach. The legislation, put together by Indiana Senate President Pro-Tem David Long, includes a joint resolution exercising Indiana's ability under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to call for a “convention for proposing amendments” to the Constitution, specifically confined to the topics of limiting Congress' power to tax and regulate commerce. The Senate...

Read more: Senate Approves Legislation Addressing Fed Overreach

 

Chicago Heights Fire Affects Polling Place

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Fire crews in Chicago Heights were called out for a vacant warehouse fire this afternoon, shortly after 1pm. Chicago Heights officials report crews at the scene, located at 17th Street and East End Avenue, at this time have the fire control, possibly even extinguished, but no further information regarding fire is available. The Times reports the fire impacted a polling place, located across the street from the fire, which had to be moved to a nearby elementary school, as adjacent streets were...

Read more: Chicago Heights Fire Affects Polling Place

 

Responders Program Registration Deadline on 3/1

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A program to learn from natural disasters like the one that ravaged Joplin, Missouri, in May of 2011, is scheduled to take place next month at Valparaiso University. Russell Shirley, Porter County Director of Emergency Management , says the program will be a discussion-based exercise on the different functions responders, whether civilian or emergency, will have in the event of a serious disaster. Shirley says when a disaster strikes it will effect everyone, not just first responders, which is...

Read more: Responders Program Registration Deadline on 3/1

 

Semi in Ditch Backing up EB 80/94 Lake Station Area

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Reportedly, a crash between a semi and an SUV caused the semi to end up in the right hand ditch on eastbound I-80/94 in the Lake Station corridor near Central Avenue.
EMS and fire crews responded and a heavy duty wrecker was on scene to pull the semi out of the ditch but as of 4 p.m. this afternoon, all lanes of eastbound I-80/94 were
backed up to a little before Grant Street in the Gary Corridor. 
Snow flurries moving through the region and temperatures below freezing are causing roads to become...

Read more: Semi in Ditch Backing up EB 80/94 Lake Station Area

 

A Good Showing for the Housing Market

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Another sign the housing market may be in recovery, a new report from the Case-Shiller Index finds prices in major cities rose across the country. Craig Lazzara Senior Director at Dow Jones Indices tells ABC News the report is promising, "as I look at the numbers, I think, this is the picture of a broadly distributed advance it's not excessive and it certainly comes at the end of several very bad years, but that said this is a picture of a recovering market."
The Indiana Association of Realtors...

Read more: A Good Showing for the Housing Market

 

Morning Fire at Cargill in Hammond

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No injuries were reported after a fire this morning at the Cargill food processing plant in Hammond. Hammond Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Margraf says they were dispatched around 7:15 this morning, and that it took a couple of hours to extinguish the fire. The fire reportedly began in a gluten dryer, and did not spread.
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Read more: Morning Fire at Cargill in Hammond

 

WB Borman Backed Up Due to Crash Near Cline Ave.

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Two separate crashes near Cline Avenue, that happened within minutes of one another, is backing up both westbound and eastbound traffic on the Borman (I-80/94).  The westbound crash closed the two left lanes backing up westbound traffic from Cline Avenue back to I-65 this afternoon.  Another crash eastbound on the Borman (I-80/94) near Cline Avenue had earlier closed the left lane eastbound.  Traffic was backing up to near Calumet Avenue.  Drivers should seek alternates like the Indiana Toll Roa...

Read more: WB Borman Backed Up Due to Crash Near Cline Ave.

 

Region Could Miss Major Impact of Snowstorm

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They're digging out from about twenty inches of snow in the Texas panhandle.... but here in the Region, it looks like rain... mostly rain, anyway, because we are expecting snow and freezing rain, too.  Much of northwest Indiana isn't even under an advisory, though Chicago and northern Indiana are. We asked Valparaiso University Meteorology Professor Dr. Bart Wolf about the outlook from the Chicago National Weather Service, and Dr. Wolf said from his understanding, meteorologists believe it will...

Read more: Region Could Miss Major Impact of Snowstorm

   

Crowd Gathers Inside, Outside of Courthouse

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People gathered outside the Porter County Courthouse this morning, holding signs like “Justice for Amanda” as jurors today are expected to begin deliberations in the Dustin McCowan murder trial. 20-year-old McCowan is accused of fatally shooting one-time girlfriend 19-year-old Amanda Bach of Portage in September of 2011. The trial started about three-and-a-half weeks ago.  Published reports say both the defense and prosecution will be allowed two-hours each for closing arguments, before the jury...

Read more: Crowd Gathers Inside, Outside of Courthouse

   

House Okays Budget Without Income Tax Cut

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Rep. Tim Brown speaking on HB 1001
[Rep. Tim Brown speaking on HB 1001/Photo provided]
The Indiana House passed a new two-year spending plan by a 68-28 vote Monday... a thirty-billion dollar blueprint Republicans say will grow the private sector, bridge the skills gap and strengthen education... however, it does not include the income-tax cut sought by Republican Governor Mike Pence... a proposal that Democrats have wanted to advance.
STATEHOUSE — Authored by the Chairman of Ways and Means, State Representative Tim Brown (...

Read more: House Okays Budget Without Income Tax Cut

   

Winter Driving Tips from Indiana State Police

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isplogo
Most counties in north central Indiana are under a winter weather advisory issued by the National Weather Service. Throughout the day, periods of snow fall and possible ice accumulation up to a quarter inch are being forecasted. This combination can cause visibility to be reduced and road conditions to change quickly. To help Hoosiers prepare for this winter storm the Indiana State Police offers the following tips.
Be prepared:
• Before traveling, check the forecast and let someone know your t...

Read more: Winter Driving Tips from Indiana State Police

   

Rept: Sequester Could Close Gary Control Tower

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Among the many expected or possible effects of the federal sequester on the Region... closure of the control tower at Gary/Chicago International Airport Friday... the same day the across-the-board budget cuts approved by Congress kick in. Today's Times says the airport would still be open to airplanes, but they would have to follow FAA guidelines for landing without a control tower.
http://www.nwitimes.com/business/local/sequester-may-shut-gary-control-tower-airport-to-remain-open/article_81bf209...

Read more: Rept: Sequester Could Close Gary Control Tower

   

Local Government Bill Clears the Indiana House

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The Indiana House has passed a bill authored by Munster Representative Mara Candelaria Reardon she says will help local governments run more effectively and efficiently.
Candelaria-Reardon says the measure addresses issues brought forth the the Indiana League of Municipal Clerk Treasurers. House Bill 1145 passed through the House 68-26 and will now advance to the Senate for further consideration.
 “This proposal allows a political subdivision to transfer any unused, unencumbered funds from any fi...

Read more: Local Government Bill Clears the Indiana House

   

Indiana Senate Rejects Medicaid Expansion

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The Indiana Senate rejected a proposal Monday to expand health care coverage to low wage-earning Hoosier families from 2014 through 2016. Democrat Portage State Senator Karen Tallian of Portage says her amendment to Senate Bill 551 would have taken advantage of language in the federal health care law that fully funds the cost of expanding Medicaid for the first three years, making working families of four earning less than $33,000 eligible for care, and covering an estimated 400,000 more...

Read more: Indiana Senate Rejects Medicaid Expansion

   

Nearly 200 Attend Lake Ridge School Bd Mtg

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Two big issues came before the Lake Ridge School Board last night, and nearly two-hundred people came out to the meeting as the board voted to close an elementary school... possibly Grissom or Hosford Park, according to the Times today. Board members also approved a motion to contract out janitorial and maintenance services starting in March... a couple months ago, the board voted not to contract out, but officials tell nwi-dot-com that the financial situation has become more bleak, and without...

Read more: Nearly 200 Attend Lake Ridge School Bd Mtg

   

Three People Accused of Bank Fraud in Lake County

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Schererville Police report they are investigating an alleged fraud of a financial institutions in Lake County. Authorities report warrants have been issued for three individuals, Shaquille Jackson, Kourtney Smith, and Darnell Thompson, for their part in the alleged scam. According to the probable cause affidavit, the three are accused of opening accounts to be used for fraudulent activity.
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Read more: Three People Accused of Bank Fraud in Lake County

   

Gas up 5 Cents from Last Week

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ABC News reports that while much of the country deals with increasing gas prices -- the U-S Energy Department says prices in Ohio have actually dropped 16 cents in the past week to 3.65 a gallon for regular unleaded. Drivers in Ohio are paying 14 cents less than they were a year ago. Compare that to California where drivers are now paying, on average, 4-21 a gallon and much more in LA and San Francisco.  As of today, Triple-A reported the current average for a gallon of regular unleaded in the...

Read more: Gas up 5 Cents from Last Week

   

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